The home is a dwelling full of activity that can be considered to be sacred space. It could be an apartment, hotel room, house, mansion or other type of abode. It is where we study, entertain, sleep, cook, eat, do self care, and oh, so much more. This space should be cared for just as we care for our altars and the space around them. The home should be safe, clean and comfortable. Care for the home as if it were alive, because really it is alive.
First things first do a spring cleaning. This can be done at any time of the year, but a great time to do this is at the Celtic start of spring, which is the Imbolc season. Dust, sweep, wash and declutter. Do not leave an ornament or crystal untouched. If it is overwhelming, make a list and do a little at a time. This event could take days or longer, and that is OK. One needs to do what is efficient for him/her in terms of cleaning. Create this floor wash using a favorite essential oil. Suggestions are peppermint, orange, lemon and cedar. Note that twelve is a number associated with cleansing.
Auburn’s Floor Wash
8 Cups water
1/3 Cup white vinegar
12 drops essential oil
Now it is time to purify the home. It is a good time to talk about those white sage smudge sticks and cultural appropriation. Native Americans use white sage for purification purposes before praying and for birth and death rituals. White sage still is available on Amazon, but its demand is outgrowing supply. The magick is destroyed by a butane lighter and by blowing on it. Properly burned it is lighted with matches and feather is used instead of blowing on it. Not only that, burned white sage smells like marijuana, and one feels the need to explain the smell to others. With all of this my suggestion is to not burn white sage. If one grows the sage him/herself and learns to use it properly, then my suggestion is to forge ahead. Growing herbs oneself gives one control over what goes in and on the plants and a sense of satisfaction. As one tends the herbs s/he can imbue them with intent. Other herbs that can be used to smudge are rosemary and lavender. Other ways to purify are through burning incense or do what I call sound purification. Some places do not allow burning, and in those dwellings one can do sound purification. Simply ring a bell, play a Tibetan singing bowl or other percussive instruments to rid the space of negative energies. When it comes to simply having a pleasant scent without the chemicals manufacturers put in the plug in scent diffusers, consider diffusing essential oils, steeping herbs in a potpourri simmering pot, or simply putting cut fresh herbs in water like one puts cut flowers in water.
Actions taken to bless the home may be as simple as a meditation of which Selena Fox gives a good example. It may be a chant done around the home. Special items such as charms may be put up in the home. One may do some or all of this as a ritual. Once the blessing is complete, it is important to settle in to a new pattern to keep the blessing alive and to bless the home again as needed.
Now it is time to talk about protection. A swag may be made with protective herbs like amaranth, cedar, eucalyptus, and thistle, and it may be hung above the front door. Other herbs may be woven in the swag to provide the home with joy, love, happiness and prosperity. A piece of rowan may be hung over the door. Sprinkle herbs on the windowsills. In the House Witchery article in Suggested Investigation the author gives a recipe for protective salt and herbs that one can sprinkle where needed. Windows may be warded with cedar or rose essential oil. In Marion Weinstein’s book she gives instructions on making a witches’ bottle. Selena Fox also talks about making one. I suggest burying it by the front door if possible. If one lives in a dwelling where s/he cannot bury it like maybe an apartment, it may be buried in a pot with a plant. One can also make a witches’ bottle to bury in a purse. Protective magic is best done when the moon is waning.
There are a huge variety of charms with which one can bless the home. A wreath is a never ending circle. Some houseplants are considered to be home guardians, especially if they are protective. See Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs. Some other charms are a Brigit’s cross, pentacle, triquetra, triskele, ankh, horseshoe and dream catcher.
A variety of altars can be set up in the home. They do not have to be big or complicated. Two or three well thought out items on an altar will work well. For example if one is a kitchen witch, s/he could have a little altar set up on a shelf in the kitchen. It might include a figure of a deity of the hearth like Hestia, a tea light candle and a bottle of dried herbs. The bathroom might have a little altar with a depiction of the goddess Sulis, some bath salts and a tea light candle. One may have altars set up in the directions of the home. For north, it might be a bowl of earth and a cat’s eye. For east it may be an incense burner and a feather. For south it may be red candle and a piece of fulgurite. For west it might be a bowl of water and an African violet. One should feel free to get creative and use altars and items that speak to him/her.
A couple of sacred places in the home include the hearth and the plumbing. The hearth is the heart of the home. The hearth or fireplace was traditionally where food was made, activities requiring light were done and people gathered for heat. Today many homes do not have a fireplace. The hearth may be considered to be the kitchen especially if it is an inviting place where people gather. But some kitchens are cramped and uninviting. The hearth may be in another place in the home and is the heart of the home or wherever the activity is. Yes, the plumbing can be considered to be very sacred. This is where many get water to drink and for use in cooking and self care. Also think about the water for a ritual bath. Consider these areas in a home blessing.
Last but certainly not least, a name? A few mansions are homes that have been given names. The fictional home Tara in Gone with the Wind springs to my mind. What a great idea it is to give a home a name and consider it to be like a living being.
Enjoy the benefits of blessing your home and I encourage you to give it a name!
I will continue to post on Wednesdays.
Blonde, Jennie, Hearth & Home Witchcraft, Weiser Books, 2022.
Cunningham, Scott, Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Crystal, Gem & Metal Magic, Llewellyn, 1998.
Cunningham, Scott, Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs, Llewellyn, 2003.
Dugan, Ellen, Cottage Witchery: Natural Magick for Hearth and Home, Llewellyn, 2005.
Fox, Selena, “Home Blessing Herbs & Charms,” Circle Sanctuary Network Podcasts, July 19, 2020, Encore from 2012.
Fox, Selena, “Home Blessing Magic,” Circle Sanctuary Network Podcasts, July 12, 2020, Encore from 2012.
Fox, Selena, “Home Blessing Rituals,” Circle Sanctuary Network Podcasts, July 26, 2020, Encore from 2012.
Weinstein, Marion, Personal Magic, Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC, 2003.